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Yes we have lost our minds!  Singing “Take me out to the Ballpark,” while making hot dog sandwiches for 200 kids last Sunday you have just got to get caught up in that song! But, we are singing it with a different flair. It’s the All-American, South America style hot dog – SALCHICHA – that we have come to love. Okay, well, maybe not love but it is a huge part of our lives.  So here is how it goes when Salchicha is on the menu for a Sunday lunch snack or when we head to the docks to hand out free sandwiches.

Friday we go into town to buy the infamous Salchicha.  10 packs of Salchicha – 200 “hot dogs.” Sometimes they are refrigerated and then again – well – sometimes not. Does that tell you anything about the longevity of these things?? They are like twinkies – never expire. Makes me wonder what is inside. For sure we know rice is an added filler!  Gross. One day we left them in the pan too long and they blew up!  Rice pieces everywhere. Okay we also make sure to grab mustard for the bread and oil for frying.

Saturday – back into town to get the fresh baked rolls. If we buy them Friday they are too dried out by Sunday when we use them. And I know you are thinking why not just get the Salchicha then too and save a trip?? Well – this is Pucallpa and kind of like Costco (oh boy do we wish we had a Costco) anyway – you have to get things when you see them because you don’t know when they will be around again. So salchicha is bought first to make sure we have it. We head to the bakery where one of the guys has come to recognize us – yes we are the “gringas” as we are “lovingly” called. Each type of roll is made at certain times of the day so we know in the morning we will be able to buy bread. Well…unless the electricity is out. But we try not to think about that much! Our “baker man” counts out 200 rolls and separates them into 2 large, thin, clear plastic bags and ties them in a knot at the end. I often wonder how he will ever get it tied – he leaves no space in the bag at the end! I always think one day the bags will break open and bread will pour out of the MotoKar on our way home.

Sunday – yup – see it’s a 3 day process. Tres Dias! Bright and early we wake up and get the Salchicha packages out of the frig.

The packages are opened and then we remove the reddish pink wrapper that holds each hot dog. It’s a slimy, smelly process. But it is our process!

The hot dogs are boiled first for a few minutes and then we fry them up to add some more “flavor,” crispy texture and “culinary” color.

Once fried, they are dried off on paper towels and the placed into the rolls that have been cut open and spread with mustard.

Afterwards…the cute little sandwich is put into a napkin and rolled up for the kids. The napkin wrapped packages go into a huge plastic tub, covered, and then taken along with liters and liters and liters of juice to the different churches for lunch.

As we drive up in the MotoKar – the kids RACE to see us and in a matter of minutes, literally, ALL the sandwiches are gone. Adults have started to line up now for this treat. It is the “most requested” type of sandwich they ask for!

We arrive back at our apartment after our circulation run of hot dogs and as we open the door we are greeted by the smell, not aroma, but the lingering smell of boiled salchicha! Not pretty. Yet, at the same time it is a reminder of the journey and mission that God has us on.

Taaahhhh Daaahhh – there you have it – the life of a Salchicha sandwich. Don’t you wish you had one? Bet your mouth is watering right now …….

In His Mighty Grip handing out the All-American, South American style hot dog,